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Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

Chelmsford, United...
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Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

We are planning trip to Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion and then up to Yellowstone in Aug/Sept. We are flying into Las Vegas and will spend a couple of nights there (because you have to) but then want to find a place that we can use as a base to visit Grand Canyon, Bryce, Antelope and Zion over 4-5 day period before heading up to Yellowstone. On the map, Kanab looks to be a good contender and, as long as we visit GC North Rim, everything is within 1.5-2 hours drive.

The idea is that we will probably do some hiking, but nothing hard core, so am assuming 3-4 hours on the ground plus drive time for each location (although Grand Canyon will probably warrant more attention).

What have other people done? Is Kanab a good centre or are we losing out by trying to keep to one base?

All advice, experiences gratefully received.

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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11. Re: Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

Only you know your travel style and your limts for time in the car, but I would just push from SLC to some place closer to or inside Yellowstone or Grand Teton. Jackson and West Yellowstone have both been suggested; I think either would be a better bet than Idaho Falls.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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for Utah
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12. Re: Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

As mentioned, a little fast but overall a workable plan.

You are trying to do quite a bit in a short time though so personally I would take out one night at LV. True, you should experience it while here, but not that much.

Two nights is probably more than you need for Bryce... Plus as the others have mentioned, there is no need to spend the night at Idaho Falls.

SO a little tweak to your plans, see what you think:

Day 1 arrive LV

Day 2 LV

Day 3 LV to Grand Canyon

Day 4 Grand Canyon

Day 5 GC to Page

Day 6 Page to Zion

Day 7 Zion then to Bryce

Day 8 Bryce then to SLC

Day 9 SLC to West Yellowstone (about 5 hr)

Day 10 Yellowstone

Day 11 Yellowstone

Day 12 Yellowstone

Day 13 Tetons/ Jackson

Day 14 Jackson to SLC via Bear Lake

Day 15 SLC to LV to Home

There are only two nights at GC and only one each in Page, Bryce and Zion, so a very quick drive through those. But it gives you more time in Yellowstone and Tetons. So a little trade off.

Many people like Bryce more than Zions and want more time there, but it is a small park and easily seen fairly completely in a full day. Whereas Zions has more to it and can take a little more time to visit if you plan to do any hiking. It would be possible to stay two nights in Zion, head to Bryce in the morning, see the main sights and still make it to SLC by night. That would make it a 7 hr drive day with a half day visit to the park in between. But I have done that myself and felt it was fine. Just start early. Plus you could stop a little short of SLC in Orem or Sandy. That way you wouldn't be changing hotels every night which would make it a little better as a trade off.

It is all priorities. If you want a more relaxed trip and time to really explore the parks then you'll either need two trips, or a longer stay. Or, do as you have done and leave something out... I wouldn't pick Zion myself, but that is hard to make a choice for someone else. If Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are the priorities, then maybe you just leave out all the Utah Parks, and fly to LV then drive straight to GC then back to LV for a couple days and fly up to Jackson or Idaho Falls for your Yellowstone experience.

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
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13. Re: Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

I was thinking you were choosing Idaho Falls for cheaper lodging rates, or you had family or some attraction you were visiting. If you left SLC in the morning I feel you can make it to Yellowstone quite handily in that day, then you would maximize your time in the Yellowstone region, as there is a lot of region to cover in that area.The scenery doesn't change too much through Idaho anyways until you get about an hour North of Idaho Falls along US20, then you start entering the forested area where Yellowstone is located.

On the way back to SLC I still would recommend the scenic route of US89 past Bear Lake, Logan Canyon, and then over to the I-15 North of Ogden. That would necessitate staying closer to the Grand Tetons on day 14. Ultimately it is your plan.

Your time at GC and Bryce will be leisurely, you will be able to see all the sights with the time you have allotted.

If you have not been to Moab, then Zion and Moab, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley can be saved for another good vacation in the area.

Chelmsford, United...
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12 posts
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14. Re: Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

It sounds as if we are being over ambitious in trying to cover the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Lake Powell and Yellowstone in 15 days. We definitely want to do these places justice and so a rethink is in order. We should concentrate on the UT/AZ part of the trip and take more time over the parks in this region (which means that Zion can go back on the itinerary); Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons should probably wait for a future visit.

I will work up a new schedule and publish it for review/comment shortly.

Again, really appreciate the continued input from you all.

15. Re: Kanab - is this a good central point for GCNR, Bryce & Zion

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